Newsdesk

Just got the word from the Austin Police Department that they've decided they will not be embracing the legal changes enacted by the Lege last year when it comes to making minor pot possession a cite-and-release offense.

To refresh: Legislators last year passed House Bill 2391 (by Rep. Jerry Madden, R-Richardson, and carried by Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo) as a means to ease jail overcrowding, making a host of minor criminal violations eligible for citation and release, as opposed to a direct ticket to the county jail for adults in their "home county" at the time of the violation – including possession of up to 4 ounces of pot. The Travis Co. Sheriff's Office immediately embraced the new law. In 2006, some 7,000 people were booked into jail for offenses listed under the new law; making those defendants eligible for cite-and-release would save the county about $1.2 million. Last fall, APD said they were still "reviewing" the new law to decide whether it would be jiggy with APD policy.

That review is apparently complete, and the verdict is in: It's a no-go for pot cite-and-release within city limits. According to APD Cmdr. Sean Mannix, the department decided against following the provisions of the law because APD actually operates in three counties – Travis, Williamson, and Hays, where portions of the city now lie – and in two out of the three counties, officials have decided not to honor the new law. Thus, only Travis has "embraced the practice," Mannix said. In order to "maintain a consistent" policy citywide, APD has decided to side with WilCo and Hays (which together cover only a small portion of the city) and to diss Travis County.

Go figure.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More by Jordan Smith
'Chrome Underground' Goes Classic Car Hunting
'Chrome Underground' Goes Classic Car Hunting
Motoreum's Yusuf & Antonio talk about the biz and their reality TV debut

May 22, 2014

APD Brass Shifts Up, Down, Across
APD Brass Shifts Up, Down, Across
Musical chairs at Downtown HQ

May 9, 2014

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle